6 Little-Known American Flag Facts
Quick facts about the American Flag
- According to apocrypha, Betsy Ross is credited with having patriotically sewn the first American flag from George Washington's own pencilled sketch. However, there is little evidence to prove this beyond a suggestion by Ross' grandson nearly a century after the supposed event.
- The man credited with the current 50 stars, 13 stripes design representing Hawaii's entry as a state is Robert G. Heft, who delivered the design as a class project. He was 17. After his work was adopted in 1960, his original score of B- for the artwork was changed to an A.
- The American flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write his iconic poem, "Defence of Fort McHenry" was actually a rare 15 star, 15 stripe design from 1795, which reflected the entry of Vermont and Kentucky as states of the Union. The same flag is on display at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History in the exhibition, "The Star Spangled Banner: The Flag That Inspired the National Anthem."
- "Old Glory," the favorite nickname for the flag of the United States, actually refers to a single American flag. William Driver, an American sea captain named his flag "Old Glory" after receiving it as a gift from his mother and her friends. The flag, sewn in the 1820s, originally had 24 stars in a ring, and an anchor in the corner of the blue canton.
- It is generally considered unpatriotic to sell or buy an American flag that is not made in the United States.
- There are six American flags on the surface of the moon. One each from Apollo missions 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17
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